This morning, Birch called me an absolute ledge. After choking on my laughter, wiping tears from my eyes and finally being able to breathe properly, I felt mystified. I’ve never been called a ledge before – short for legend, not the window ledge kind of thing. Because who wants to be compared to a piece of building?
To be fair, I was helping him out with history homework – like I’ve been doing for the past two years. It’s become almost a routine, broken by the holidays and any periods of not talking. I thought he thought he was too cool to ask me for help this year, because even though we’re in the same history class and he sits a seat away from me, I thought that he could ask anyone else. That I was literally nothing to him: too weird, too outside, too ANYTHING. That he’d forgotten the laughter we used to share, the conversations and the knowledge that we we weren’t quite friends, but we wouldn’t stand by if the other needed help.
Then again, why WOULD he have voluntarily sat near me if he thought I was a moron? Maybe it was a coincidence, but I think that even he would have felt a bit weird to break the routine of sitting near each other in history. Him asking me for help this morning was a jolt back to the past, where I thought that him doing that was something more when it was just him needing my help with academics. I’m not kidding myself now: it is what it is, and there are no illusions of him wanting to hang out with me after class. It might seem cruel for him to “use” me, but I – for some reason – feel secure when he asks for help? I don’t need his validation, but for someone to want to ask me for help is nice. Indirectly, he’s showing me I’m of some value to him. Even if it is for homework, it’s something; I’m the person he goes to.
That message sent me on a path of thought, where I asked myself if I WAS – and ever had been – useful to people. Useful friendship-wise, but just also resource-wise; I prefer the former, but the latter makes me feel worth something and I need all the reassurance I can get on that front because I’m an insecure pebble sometimes. To some people, they might be bitter at being wanted for shit like homework er academic advice; I used to ask myself if that was all I was good for, but in the end it makes me feel intelligent and like I’m trusted to HELP people if they’re struggling with work.
Being wanted for advice is a great thing. I don’t crave it as I once did – if I feel like nobody trusts me, I DO lock myself into a loop of feeling I’m worthless, but I pick myself up in the end. But a simple request from someone if they want to talk is one of the best feelings, because they’re showing me that they can trust me. That I’m good enough at giving advice that they’d come to me with their issues. Wren, Willow, Red, Odd or whoever: I feel like I’m properly doing something when I help someone with anything they need.
You guys have let me see that I can do things, too. Thinking I’m not a horrific person isn’t arrogant. In the Blogosphere, people trust me enough to ask advice from me, or to appreciate my words. I can shriek about my love life, or ramble about nonsensical shit, and you STILL put up with me. Friends who I’ve made here talk to me, and let me help them – with blogging, with real life, and it doesn’t make me feel like the clunky useless thing I used to feel like.
Actually making me believe I’m not just a thing that people could do without is another matter. It took S – my boyfriend – a rather long time to convince me I mean more than something to him. I still get a bit paranoid, but I get paranoid with everybody: it’s not bad, but it’s bad enough to make me question who gives a crap about me. S has shown me time and time again that he does, in fact, value my advice; he doesn’t just SAY that my advice is good but he takes it and thanks me for it. For some reason, that was a novelty for me. I’m not used to it.
Yeah, I matter to a lot of people, even if in the smallest way. My new friend in French values me because I spoke to her when she first started. The person I met at the LGBTQ+ club cared about me because I talked with her about loads of things when I could have spoken to my regular friendship group. A girl outside my form looked at me differently because my conversation was intelligent, and I didn’t just stare at the ground as I’m prone to do.
Of course, my friends think I’m reasonably okay. Alright, they think I’m nice and all that but shhh, I’m trying to be modest! They are all wonderful, and I think I’m crashing my way into believing that I’m not just a spare part to them.
Birch let me realise that it’s not just my close friends that care. It’s other people, in the littlest of ways; I’ll take all that I can get. I’ll be all that I can to as many people as I can, even if that’s just a fleeting glance or the thought that I, of all people, could help them.
Do you think YOU matter to a lot of people? If not, then try listing all the people that care about you, in ANY capacity. You’ll be surprised, because sometimes, caring’s not just about trusting implicitly. It can simply be a smile to someone who thinks that they don’t deserve one.
Screw being a spare part. I can be a whole fucking machine if I want to.
From Elm 🙂